It's almost Halloween, which means it's time for us to take a deep dive into the world of archaeology, in search of terrifying discoveries that don't so much belong in museums as they do in horror movies.
(Here's part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five, because digging up things that unsettle and horrify us is a cute annual tradition of ours.)
The Copper-Preserved Corpses
It's a given that archaeologists excavating a tomb or graveyard are going to find bodies -- it'd be freakier if they didn't, frankly. The only small comfort they have is that those bodies are going to be skeletons. No mushy stuff, no maggots, no red fluids for the internet to drink up, just piles of dusty bones laying around like musty Halloween decorations.
That is, unless those bodies were buried with some kind of copper adornment, in which case you get this:
Janos Balazs/Archaelogical and Anthropological SciencesIt’s Clonazepam that stops night terrors, by the way. Better hurry, the pharmacy closes at 6.
What you're looking at here is a baby's arm dating back to the 1800s, which was recovered from a graveyard in Hungary. That's not 1800s as in military time, but as in nearly 200 years ago. So what's the deal? Well, copper -- for a bunch of complicated science reasons -- is great at preserving body parts ... but only the body part that it's touching. Which leaves archaeologists in the unenviable position of occasionally stumbling across green-tinged masses of preserved flesh. Like these 1,000-year-old mummies that were buried wearing copper masks, which preserved their faces just enough to scar you for life.